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Why do some people neglect to shower/bathe

post #1 of 96
Thread Starter 
Yes, I know this is a weird question, but I have been wondering about this for a while.

I know some people who a depressed can neglect their personal hygene. I am not talking about that.

I am talking about the sort of person who has easy access to a bathroom with a shower or bath, but seldom takes one. Happy as a clam, but stinky all the same.

I really enjoy taking a bath or a shower, but even if I didn't, I would not be able to stand the feeling of being dirty. When I climb into my sheets at night I love feeling clean. When I am not so clean (like the time we moved into our new house and there was no hot water for 4 days!) I actually can't sleep. I feel itchy and gross. My head itches and my private parts (for lack of a better word) feel irratated. It is physically a terrible sensation, you know? Even if I just do a little sponge bath, there is nothing like the real thing where you get really clean.

I have had a few friends in my life that did not seem to feel this way. One was an old roommate of mine--she was a funny, vivacious girl (not in the least depressed!) but she stank to high heaven. We are talking about some bad B.O. here. The reason she stank so much was that she only took a shower about once a week, if that. Her hair even stank! This was a long time ago (when I was in college) so things may have changed for her now, but she seemed perfectly happy not to shower very often. People often commented that she was stinky, but she just laughed it off. Her room and clothes just reeked--but she was a wonderful girl personality wise. I certainly did not hold it against her, but I was always curious as to "why?", you know?

The other friend I have (who now lives in Paris so I only get to see him once a year or so) grew up in Bolinas (a beautiful little hippie town in Marin County) in a house that his mom built herself from the ground up. He and his sisters and his mom lived in a tent for a year before finally finishing the house. So he was "use" to not bathing like a traditional kid. Maybe that is what made him not take a shower very often even as an adult and living in an apartment with a bathroom handy? He often would comment with a warning that he "stank" and not to stand too close. I would wonder why didn't he just take a nice shower instead of walking around stinky? Very curious, indeed!

Every once and a while I read a comment here about not showering too often. I know it can be hard to find time to shower with a baby on you--but I had the original high needs baby with my first little guy, and figured out a way to take a shower so he was happy (playing in the bathroom in the sink with a cup and soap). If you don't shower very often then why? Doesn't it feel terrible to go to bed dirty? Aren't you itchy and irratated and uncomfortable?

I am off to take a bubble bath but I am interested to read the replies.

Hugs,
Lisa
post #2 of 96
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post #3 of 96
While I generally bathe or shower at least once a day, I totally recognize that is:

1) not our biological norm
2) not our cultural norm
3) not the best choice for the environment
4) many times, not the best choice health-wise

I think sometimes about how medieval, and really even colonial/frontier people/towns/cities must have STUNK and realize that it is all what you are used to. Just think of people who smoke (or who have stinky pets) and don't notice it at all.
post #4 of 96
Some people have sensitive skin, and even the mildest of soaps can irritate them. I'm one of them. I even react to the water softener my in-laws use.
post #5 of 96
I cut down on showering to every other day and now I can go 3 days and feel fine with it. Unless I'm exercising and feel really sweaty--then I might shower twice in one day depending on what is going on. Right now, however, I am have back problems and have not been exercising.

The problem I have with showering is that my skin is dry and it's always dry and itchy after a shower, even when I moisturize. I figure I'm saving water and money on lotion if I just shower when I really feel like I need it. I usually wash my key parts in between showers (trying to avoid saying all those words people hate like privates or crotch or whatever).

I've been doing the no 'poo thing for awhile, so I don't wash my hair as often and if I don't feel like I need to wash it, I usually don't shower. Unless I'm cold--sometimes I will take a nice warm shower or bath at night if I'm really chilled.
post #6 of 96
I don't like showers or baths. I don't like showers because I don't like the feeling of water coming down on me. Baths aren't so bad, but what I really dislike is the feeling of being WET once I'm out of the tub. Ugh!!! I wish there were some way to dry INSTANTLY.

Realistically I do have to shower pretty often (every 2-3 days) to keep my hair from getting gross, but if I had my way, I would do it maybe once a week or two.

My parents bathe maybe once a week or less, because my mom says Americans bathe too much. She may be right, but I can smell her from across the room so I do think she should bathe more often. Sometimes I remind myself of that when I'm trying to convince myself to take a bath even though I don't want to.
post #7 of 96
My skin gets very dry in the winter and hot water, of course, make it worse. I have been showering every three or four days (sometimes taking baths in between) and I don't feel very dirty -- plus I live with my husband and a roommate, neither one of whom would feel any compunction about telling me if I stunk!

I don't work out, so I'm not getting sweaty -- I keep my hands and face clean. I don't know -- I used to take showers every day but it just doesn't seem like a big deal not to .
post #8 of 96
I know people like this, the shower is right there but won't for 2-3 weeks!
they get really bad, me I shower 3 times a week, would like to more often but have insane hair that is better off if I shower in the daytime, but I never have time then.
DD gets a bath everyother day b/c she sweats alot, especially when she sleep.
It could be -20 in her room and she would still be sweating up a storm
Ds gets a bath almost everyday b/c he likes to stick his fingers in his mouth when there is food in there and his nails get dirty real quick!
Dh showers everyother day if not everyday, but I can't stand people who don't shower regularly and smell like they don't!
I once drove 2 hours in the back of a van and the driver hadn't showered or used deoterant in 2 weeks and he kept the window wide open and wore a sleeveless shirt. My nose hurt afterward!
post #9 of 96
Sometimes I don't have time to shower. I don't feel comfortable just locking the door while the kids are watching tv or whatever. I constantly worry. THere are some nights, not often, that I am lying in bed and realise, *oh, I didn't get a shower today* and I'm just too tired to get up again. I do shower/bathe at least every other day.
post #10 of 96
When i first read your thread i thought ... she does not have children if she is asking this question then i looked at your signature and said hmmm she has 3 ... lol ... Anyway I get so busy with the kiddos that i end up going 2 or 3 days between showers. This NEVER happened prior to having children but it happens often now a days. I get busy with these children of mine and before i know it another day has went by with no chance to shower. I just took a shower (first time since the day before yesterday morning) and had to schedule it. MY husband works 70-80 hours a week and i am just busy. So there ya go thats my answer ...
post #11 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola
I cut down on showering to every other day and now I can go 3 days and feel fine with it. Unless I'm exercising and feel really sweaty--then I might shower twice in one day depending on what is going on. ...
The problem I have with showering is that my skin is dry and it's always dry and itchy after a shower, even when I moisturize. I figure I'm saving water and money on lotion if I just shower when I really feel like I need it. I usually wash my key parts in between showers (trying to avoid saying all those words people hate like privates or crotch or whatever).
..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliacat
I don't like showers or baths. I don't like showers because I don't like the feeling of water coming down on me. Baths aren't so bad, but what I really dislike is the feeling of being WET once I'm out of the tub. Ugh!!! I wish there were some way to dry INSTANTLY.
..Realistically I do have to shower pretty often (every 2-3 days) to keep my hair from getting gross, but if I had my way, I would do it maybe once a week or two.
What they said. I shower because I have a job and have to be in public. But I don't like to. It takes time to do, then I am WET and cold after, my skin feels dry and itchy. I take more showers in the summer when they are cooling and refreshing. But in the winter I HATE to and shower ever 2-3 days for my hair's sake. I am not too smelly either - You know when you smell your *old* clothes after you are done showering and they STINK? Mine don't, not unless I have been working out (or PG). I showered a lot PG too - because then, I *felt* dirty and stinky and couldn't stop sweating. Normally though I don't feel smelly.
post #12 of 96
I take a shower maybe every 4 -5 days. But I don't smell. I know this sounds weird. I don't really use deodorant very often, either.

My DH and a couple of our friends are here right now and I just asked them if I smell. They all said no. One of them even sniffed my pit, lol (brave man). I really don't smell. And, as DH took great delight in pointing out, I haven't taken a shower *this year*, lol. They all shower every day, BTW.

Personally, my hair and skin are healthier when I don't shower all the time. If I smelled though, I'd take a shower. In fact I *have* smelled, and I *have* showered, lol. I don't know what it is, I must have some non-smelly body chemistry or something.

Now, in the summer it's a different story - I do have to shower every other day or so when it's hot, or I stink and feel yucky.
post #13 of 96
I'd love to shower every single day but I too have really dry, sensitive skin. Plus I have naturally dry curly hair. I have to take an almost cool shower to even cut down on the water drying me out. So I take quick showers every other day. If I do it every day, I am miserable. My hair I only wash a couple of times a week but condition it every time I bath or shower. I am paranoid of stinking so I ask DH all the time if I reek.

My son bathes just about every day. He plays hard a lot & needs a bath by the time he gets home from school.

My daughter only needs a bath a couple of times a week but she does take them every day if not more than once a day only because the soothe & calm her.
post #14 of 96
I bathe every day and shower at least twice a week to wash my hair.

Some people don't because they have abuse issues. SOme people have skin conditions. Some are just lazy by my standards. I really try not to judge stinky people but when they look really greasy it grosses me out on some level.
post #15 of 96
As the short answer to your question: I don't feel dirty when I haven't bathed/ showered. (I am blonde and don't have much body hair, so I don't get sweaty anywhere but my armpits).

But to go into detail: today, I haven't washed my hair in a few days. It's fairly greasy, but not stinky (I put some nice smelling cornstarch in it to soak up some of the grease). But even if it was stinky, I don't think it would bother me much. Cause it's my own smell... And I don't feel like it's overwhelming enough to bother anyone else.

I use natural deodorant on my pits. (The only time I stink is when I get nervous or scared...)

I baths. I just don't feel the need to take one everyday... sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I don't like being wet in the winter (I also wish there was a way to get instantly dry!) so I can go a few days between baths.

(Offtopic: I grew up in Marin and I can't believe you mentioned Bolinas! I got married there )
post #16 of 96
My skin is too dry to shower every day. I get itchy and feel gross if I shower every day. Baths are even worse...topped with the idea that I'm trying to cleanse myself in the same water that I've just washed my butt in. My skin feels great if I go 2-3 days between a shower. It's much softer and glows more. It irritates my dh, who has oily skin, that I don't shower every day. Not because I stink, but because he just thinks people should shower daily. This pregnancy made my skin break out really bad in the beginning and he happilly told me "looks like you'll have to shower every day now!" Which I did for about a month. Now my skin is back to normal and I am back to every 2-3 days.

OH, the other thing...I HATE the cold air on me. I don't like the fan blowing directly on me, the air conditioning, nothing. It drives me crazy. I get that same icky "air" feeling when my skin is wet and I get out of the shower unless my house is very warm.
post #17 of 96
If there was a way to stay in the shower all day, I'd do it. I love taking a shower. Hate baths, though. I shower before I leave the house for the day, and before I go to bed. Nothing feels better than a nice hot shower.
My fantasy bathroom has one of those multiple shower heads that hit you from every possible angle with super high pressure. Mmmmmmmm! Heaven!
post #18 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by wende
..
OH, the other thing...I HATE the cold air on me. I don't like the fan blowing directly on me, the air conditioning, nothing. It drives me crazy. I get that same icky "air" feeling when my skin is wet and I get out of the shower unless my house is very warm.
Me too. I can't have the windows down in the car either.
post #19 of 96
Well, not to play the "who had the higher need baby" game :LOL but I never figured out a way to keep my toddler dd happy when I showered. When she hit the seperation anxiety stage (around 4 months for her) well thru toddlerhood she just screamed if I showered. Didn't want to come in with me, didn't want to watch, didn't want to play with toys. Nothin'. The only way I could shower was if there was someone else to hold her and do some MAJOR distraction while I washed as fast as I could. So that's why I stank when she was a kidlet

I love showering though. Add me in as someone who would be in there all day if I could :LOL My mom still jokes about my legendary 45 minute hot showers as a teen :LOL I'm not so bad now I do sometimes skip a day now though, but just out of convenience and the results aren't bad.

I had a boyfriend in college who rarely showered (or bathed, or washed himself in any way) I'm not saying that he didn't bathe every day (I don't think that's a big deal), I mean sometimes he didn't bathe *that week*, kwim? One of my friends even asked me what I saw in him since he smelled so bad. Ask me now and I can't tell you what I saw in him (it wasn't his personality either :LOL) I have heard that his wife "makes" him wash now so you can no longer smell him a room away.
post #20 of 96
Hmmmm...... I LOOOOVE the feeling of being clean but I HATE getting motivated to get in the shower. I take FOREVER because my hair is really long, and it just bores me to no end doing hygiene things. I mean, it's enough that I brush my teeth every day!
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